SINGAPORE OPEN 2014 R32 – Mixed feelings for Singapore

Home ground women’s doubles duo Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, along with mixed doubles Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo Yu Yan and men’s singles shuttler Derek Wong, kept […]

Home ground women’s doubles duo Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, along with mixed doubles Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo Yu Yan and men’s singles shuttler Derek Wong, kept the Singapore flag flying by surviving the Round of 32 at the OUE 2014.

By Serla Rusli, Badzine Correspondent live from Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

Derek Wong (pictured below), who was promoted to the main draw upon withdrawal of second seed Kenichi Tago, made full use of this golden opportunity and advanced to the second round. He defeated Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, Denmark’s #2 single shuttler, who is ranked 30 notches above him, in three games that all finished 21-16.

Mixed doubles pair Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Vanessa Neo Yu Yan won convincingly against their Indian opponents Tarun Kona / Ashwini Ponnappa in 21-15, 21-10.

Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei (pictured top) sustain the hope of repeating their 2010 victory in Singapore by beating 4th seed Koreans Jang Ye Na / Kim So Young in a thrilling 21-19, 21-18, creating one of the biggest upsets of the day.

Unfortunately for Yao Lei, the same victory could not be repeated in the mixed doubles event when she and her partner Chayut Triyachart was outclassed by reigning champions and world #2 Lilyana Natsir / Tontowi Ahmad 21-12, 21-10.

The Indonesian duo displayed solid performance and their chemistry was obvious as they relentlessly attacked the Singaporeans and left them struggling to find their rhythm throughout the match.

“Our strategy for the match was to keep it fast-paced throughout so they did not have the chance to attack,” said Natsir afterward.  “Although we knew that we are ranked much higher than them, we still had to be extra careful since they are playing in the home ground. We managed to stay focused through, and I think this is a very good start of the tournament for us.”

Another heartbreaking exit for Singapore was that of men’s doubles partners Ashton Chen and Robin Gonansa. They were beaten by world #1 and the newly crowned All England champions Mohammad Ahsan / Hendra Setiawan, 21-5, 21-17. It was an emotional ending for Ashton/Robin as this marks the end of Ashton’s career in the professional badminton circuit.

“It could have been a better ending, but it is already more than enough. I have no regrets and it is now back to the books for me,” said Ashton Chen (pictured here playing singles qualifying on Tuesday)

The Indonesians joined their fellow no 1 seeds in the tournament, all of whom advanced to the next round.

Tournament and crowd favourite Lee Chong Wei cruised through to the second round of the Singapore Open 2014 after beating Hong Kong’s Wei Nan. Chong Wei, who has been absent for four years since his last appearance in 2010, entertained the crowd with glimpses of his skills and teased his Hong Kong opponent to finish with a 21-17, 21-15 victory.

“I’m still adjusting to the court situation and the strong wind,” said Lee afterward.  “Today is just the first match, so I was trying to find my rhythm and game play. I hope my performance will get better by the day.” The Malaysian is set to face Chen Yuekun (pictured) from China next.

Chinese top seed and world #1 Li Xuerui received no trouble from her first round opponent Tanvi Lad from India. Li won convincingly in straight games 21-6, 21-11.

Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, who spearhead the women’s doubles draw, are automatically in the second round as they had a bye in the first round of the draw.

Click here for complete Day 2 full results

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